Kokopelli Packrafts - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-21-2016   #1
Columbia Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: 2015
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Kokopelli Packrafts

Does anyone have any experience with the Kokopelli packrafts? Ive been thinking about buying one. I would like to get an Alpacka,but I like the price of the Kokopelli and my local dealer has some in stock. I would mostly use it on class II-III rivers and mountain lakes. I don't foresee it getting a lot of abuse but I am concerned about the durability compared to the Alpackas. Thanks

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Old 05-21-2016   #2
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
No personal experience but.....

Backpackinglight.com just posted a review of the Nirvana recently. You need to be a member (there is a free trial period I believe) to access the article.

I know the company was founded to provide them and their friends an alternative to the heavy Alpacka designs for canyoneering decents in the Grand Canyon, i.e. as a piece of support equipment not primary. Their original intent was lightweight not an emphasis on technical water. That has changed in the last few years but you can see the guiding philosophy still lingers when you compare them to Alpacka, who now is selling their whitewater specific packraft.

My friends who primarily float rivers still use Alpacka. My friends who primarily canyoneer and just need to get between point A & B on the river use Kokopelli. That price point difference may eventually change that tendency now that they have product designs that overlap.

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Old 05-21-2016   #3
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 15
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 20
Not sure you've got the info correct. Kokopelli boats are cheaper, but heavier, than comparable Alpacka boats. They're also made overseas of lower quality materials. Alpackas are made to order in Colorado and do extensive research on fabrics and boat design. For the increased price you get a boat that's tried, tested, light, tough.
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Old 05-21-2016   #4
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
I really apologize! I confused Kokopelli and Supai. Its lame that I conflated the two just because of the southwestern names.

Kokopelli is accurately described by JSwell.

Supai Adventure Gear packrafts are the 1.5 lb , nalgene size craft I described. They are a US based cottage company tailored towards uber-light trips.

Embarrassed! Can't believe I am finally at the age were I can confuse an overseas mass-produced knock-off with a high quality US brand.

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Old 05-21-2016   #5
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 215
I bought a Kokopelli Nirvana late last year and just took it out for the first time last month. We backpacked down Dark Canyon and packrafted the Colorado down to Hite. There were 4 Nirvanas in our group and everyone was very pleased. We got hit with 50+ mph wind gusts for about 12 of the 14 miles out to Hite. It was kind of freaky to be out in the river in that tiny boat in all of that, but it held up fine. I even had a dog on my lap.

I'd still choose an Alpacka over it due to the weight, but if you're okay with an extra pound or two and don't have the Alpacka in the budget, it's a great boat. With all that said, my Kokopelli us for sale in the classifieds section. I'm 6'4" and the large is smaller than I'd like. That and I just ordered my first big raft, much thanks to all the info I found here on the buzz.

Here's a couple shots of our Kokopellis in Cataract last month:

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Old 05-21-2016   #6
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Tabernash, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Relax Philip, and just slip into sweet, sweet, senility. I find it's like having a bunch of new experiences everyday, that happened the day before!
We can't always agree, but we can still be civil to each other.
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Old 05-21-2016   #7
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261

Its like a sucker punch. One day you are young the next you start making all the mistakes you mocked your parents for (calling me by every sibling name until the last attempt) and your eyebrow hair grows inches a day instead of mm a year.

I should have taken the AARP applications showing up in my mailbox as an omen.

Oops....Back to your regularly scheduled programming.....
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